Fruiting Bodies by Jennifer Bieniek examines the human biological drive for procreation and narrates this cycle through a mythological journey; delineated through a multi-sensory installation. Drawing from Matthew Barney’s exploration of masculine reproductive drives in The Cremaster Cycle this installation presents an allegorical narrative of the feminine reproductive cycle as a way of extending the viewer’s experience with female biological drives by using biomorphic forms to represent the biological collective. Using narrative as a tool to shape experience, the work considers the biological, cultural, and societal implications of women as life-givers.
The most powerful experience in my life was the moment I became a mother. Motherhood changed my view of the past and my future, as well as my personal identity as a woman. Something much greater than “I” revealed itself and the vastness of scheme seemed beyond my comprehension. Yet, this beautiful comprehension only made the eventual loss of a pregnancy that much more difficult to cope with. My work focused on loss for some time. Loss was a difficult stage in a cycle and I longed to reach the next phase. Seeing the maternal response as a system led my new work to an examination of the biological, psychological, and cultural factors controlling the female reproductive system. Myth serves as the foundation for my Fruiting Bodies installation. By sharing this experiential installation with the viewer I hope to leave them with a different perspective of female reproductive cycles.